Designing your perfect new bath
"Which room in the house is the ultimate
harbor? It's the master bath," says Ann
M. Morris, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., master
kitchen and bath designer. Research, she says,
shows that American consumers would spend
between $2,500 and $7,500 on products in a
remodeling or redecorating of their bathrooms.
Of those surveyed, 30 percent said they would
be willing to spend more than $10,000 to convert
their bath space into a relaxing sanctuary.
"Bathroom remodels add value to your
home and can generate up to a 90 percent return
on your investment," Morris says.
When redoing a master bath,
Morris uses a free-standing tub. These tubs
vary in depth and have a width of 60 to 72
inches. Another popular option is the Japanese
soaking tub, which is four feet by four feet
and 32 inches deep. It can be built into the
ground or on a platform with one step. Morris
also recommends a free-standing vanity over
built-ins and likes to leave six inches of
space on each side of the vanity. Bowls can
be dual or single, rising or vessels. The
top of the vanities should be granite, marble
and quartz, and come in fun colors like red
and blue. Mirrors with frames can be hung
and subject to individual tastes. She is seeing
more porcelain tile -- large ones at
24 inches square, with non-slip surfaces.
Many homeowners want to bring
a spa-like feel to the master bathroom. "In
a Zen-type spa environment, clean simple lines
and the use of natural materials would be
needed," says Hilsabeck. "With a
more traditional-type spa environment, more
textures, traditional curved lines and design
elements and carvings would be used."
When traveling for business
or pleasure, people seem to want to bring
their hotel spa experience home with them
and add it to their bathroom environment.
Hilsabeck says that, depending on the size
of the bathroom, type of product and materials,
one could spend $10,000 and up to $100,000
to create the final outcome a homeowner desires.
"The cabinets that were used 20 years
ago in powder rooms are gone," says Morris.
"Today, many home owners are even beyond
pedestal sinks. What is being used are free-standing
pieces that could be sculpted like granite.
This base may have a vessel sink on it with
a wall-mounted faucet." The faucet should
be the focal point of your bath, designers
say. It's where the eye goes first.